Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice Minor

The Atrocity Studies minor provides an interdisciplinary understanding of the Holocaust; the foundation of international law treaties that define genocide; crimes against humanity; issues of social justice and human rights violations; and efforts to confront the past and transform the future.

The minor addresses a central tenet of education: What does it mean to be a responsible citizen in a democratic society?

Students gain tools to both disrupt discrimination, prejudice, and dehumanization and to promote ethical responsibilities toward others. Courses and partnerships from across the College of Arts & Sciences and the University prepare students to analyze contemporary political situations and to confront and act upon the complexities inherent in atrocities and human and civil rights violations.

Sifan Hunde headshot“The Atrocities Studies Minor offered an interdisciplinary exploration, intertwining profound lessons from the Holocaust and other genocides with the responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society.”
Sifan Hunde ’23


Study Abroad/Study Away

Atrocity Studies students have the opportunity to study abroad in Central Europe, France, Chile, Italy, South Africa, or other select summer programs and are eligible for study abroad financial support.

Through generous gifts, students in the minor also have the opportunity to study away for a fully-funded, immersive week in Washington, DC, visiting government offices, non-governmental organizations, and museums related to human rights and social justice. This week also provides networking opportunities for minor students.

They can also apply for a Spector/Warren Fellowship for Holocaust and Human Rights Education, which includes a fully funded, five-day intensive program at the Holocaust Museum Houston.

Sophie Creager-Roberts headshot“The Atrocity Studies minor has been a meaningful way to synthesize my academic interests. I have deepened my understanding of both genocide in historical contexts and contemporary abuses of human rights. Participating in the Atrocity Studies immersive Washington, DC, trip was instrumental in seeing how these ideas manifest in professional opportunities.”
Sophie Creager-Roberts ’24

Minor Requirements

The Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice minor requires 18 credits, including 1 required course on the Holocaust and several electives, and a capstone internship or project planned with your minor advisor. You’ll choose electives from sets of courses in three areas: Atrocities/Genocides, Challenging Dehumanization, and Education and Social Justice. Class options come from departments across the university, including Jewish Studies, Psychology, LGBT Studies, Geography, Political Science, Native American Studies, and History. More information on academic requirements available in the Syracuse University Course Catalog.

Declaring a Minor

If you are interesting in declaring a minor, talk to your advisor in your home school or college to see if you have enough room for the courses, a minimum of a 2.8 GPA, and complete the Minor Declaration Form. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Academic and Student Services or the Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice minor program coordinator.


Julia M. White, Associate Professor|315.443.9321
Julia M. White

Binaka Norris headshot“The Washington, DC, immersion week reminded me how relevant the skills learned in the Atrocity Studies minor are, as well as the diverse ways to pursue equality. This trip reminds students of the duty we have to our communities and ourselves to advocate for a world free from atrocities.”
Binaka Norris ’23

Nic Suarez headshot“I’m applying for a master’s program in education policy, and the School of Education’s Atrocity Studies minor has been pretty influential on my work and what I want to do going forward.”
Nic Suarez ’24